Expertise Development Coordinator in Big Geospatial Data Science

University of Twente
Enschede, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) works in a variety of application domains in which voluminous geospatial data sources are fundamentally important to assess and monitor, manage, model and predict key change processes that take place in the Earth system. The faculty’s research and education focus on the professional and responsible use of Earth observation data and spatial information in combination with modern data handling systems. For these reasons, we are building a Big GeoData Science Lab for which are hiring new staff.

Job description

ITC aims to remain the global player in capacity development in advanced geospatial applications including the big geospatial data domain. This position is a key element in that effort. You have knowledge of big geospatial data management, parallel and distributed spatial computing, machine learning techniques in data analysis, and the computational infrastructure including cloud platforms required to make it work. You feel at home in a multi- and trans-disciplinary setting, and understand the role you can play in a team. You will complement and expand existing expertise in the faculty. You will aim to understand ongoing research projects, contribute with big geospatial data science expertise, and help build an educational curriculum on big geodata. ITC aims to design a coordinated strategy in this scientific field to make its research and project activities future-proof, and generate educational spin-off. Thus, you will help steer and contribute to the development of a community of practice in our network on geospatial data science.

Your tasks

Various of ITC’s scientific departments are already engaged in work that has big data science dimensions. Such work primarily has a research orientation, but big geodata and data science are also becoming established in our educational programs, and more and more also in projects with external partners. Depending on application, purpose and audience data-intensive projects with large spatiotemporal data sets must make many choices, specifically in data preparation and management, analytical workflow design, computational methods, in hardware/software platforms to use, and in the techniques to disseminate results. This diversity of choices is worthy of study itself. All these developments require vision and experience, understanding of the state-of-the-art and trends in cloud computing, distributed spatial analysis, and machine learning.

This position has a strong scientific and technical orientation, operates at the assistant professor level, and focuses on shaping ITC’s capabilities in the field by seeking synergies across departments and applications. You liaise with staff, support their work, and aim to solidify their expertise as institutional knowledge. You contribute to papers, and on projects in the Global South.

Your profile

  • You hold a PhD degree in GIS, Remote Sensing or Computer Science, and can demonstrate a strong scientific computing background, preferably related to big geospatial data.
  • You have relevant practical or research experience (for instance, as post-doc) since your PhD graduation, and should have experience with large-scale projects that are externally funded.
  • You can demonstrate at least two years of experience in academic education, preferably as curriculum or course developer.
  • You should be a competent user of open source software environments, relevant to large-scale geocomputing, including big data storage, data mining, distributed computing, machine learning, image processing, GIS, and general computing. Experience in cloud computing platforms and GPU computing is an asset.
  • You have understanding of (at least some) thematic fields covered by the faculty.
  • You have an aptitude for teaching, including lecturing and tutoring at an academic level.
  • You have an affinity with a multi-cultural, post-graduate education environment.
  • You have a willingness to undertake international travel to developing countries and a positive mindset to contribute to international projects.
  • You have an excellent command of English. Knowledge of, or willingness to learn Dutch, is an advantage. Command of a third language relevant to international development work is an asset.


Additional information about the position can be obtained from Dr. Ir. Rolf de By (e-mail:, or Prof. Dr. Raul Zurita-Milla (email: You are also invited to visit our website.

Please submit your application before 1 July 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application must include (i) a motivation letter clearly stating how you meet the selection criteria and also outlining your professional interests and (ii) a detailed CV with references.

Our offer

We offer an inspiring and challenging international environment. You will be initially employed for two years. Extension of the employment after this period is a possibility.

  • Gross monthly salary between € 3,746.- and € 5,826,- depending on experience and qualifications (job profile Assistant Professor level 2 or 1).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development.
  • A solid pension scheme
  • Possibilities to save up holidays for sabbatical leave
  • Minimum of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.